That would be Riley Burke, from my new novel, Art of Death. Of course, I'd have to magically become a huge, strapping muscle man in order to get his attention, but we can always pretend.
2. Describe him for us.
Riley is in his twenties, a little on the short side but very fit, with the body of a featherweight mixed martial artist. He has emerald green eyes and distinct long lashes. He's a starving artist who moonlights as a nude model, and he's a sucker for dangerous men and dangerous situations—even though he'd never admit it.
3. Why Riley? What is it about him that makes him so interesting?
Riley is the type who often comes off as sensual and provocative even when he doesn't intend to. I'll be honest; while I'd enjoy his dry sense of humor and wouldn't mind talking shop with him, a fling with Riley would be all physical. Riley leans toward the submissive side, which would be great fun for me.
4. You have the chance to go anywhere in the world with Riley. Where would you go and what would you do?
Despite his meager income, Riley is a little spoiled thanks to his rich boyfriend, so I'd have to do something extravagant. I suppose I'd take him to the Sybaris (sybaris.com) in Chicago, because who doesn't like private pools, hot tubs, and wet men?
5. You plan a romantic dinner; tell us what your idea of a romantic dinner is? Do you make reservations at your favorite restaurant or do you cook a special meal?
No way am I taking on the responsibility of cooking for Riley. He's a very picky eater. Moreover, he tends to miss a lot of meals due to anxiety, and if he gets grossed out by low-quality food, he just won't eat. But he loves seafood and lean meat, so I'd take him to a nice, expensive sushi place and we'd share some dragon rolls. I'd also make sure to get lots of sake into him!
6. Is Riley more the love them and leave them kind of guy or does he believe in happily ever after with that one special person?
Riley is hesitant to commit himself to anyone, and he has a personal rule of never getting into a relationship where he cares more about the other person than they care about him. He's the love them and leave them type—but who knows? A "happily ever after" may just sneak up on him.
7. While slow dancing, what music is playing ? Is Riley graceful on the dance floor or are your toes going to be bruised in the morning?
Riley hasn't done much dancing, but he has the flexibility and coordination for it due to a bit of martial arts training. His rhythm, on the other hand, may be a bit lacking. But I'll make sure that I lead and he follows, so if anything, I'll be stepping on his toes.
8. And speaking of bruises, is Riley more of a slow sensual lover or raw animalistic passion?
Riley definitely prefers things raw and animalistic. He likes it a little bit rough. As I said, he's submissive in bed, but he never stops challenging the authority of whomever he's with, even if it's just to inspire them to be even rougher.
9. It's always fun to fantasize about a fling but, would Riley be the kind to have one? Is he single or if in a committed relationship, is he the kind who would cheat?
Um, yeah, Riley would cheat. He's not unfaithful by nature, but he'd avoid making any sort of promise of exclusivity for as long as he possibly could. But I'm sure there's a man out there who could get him to commit.
10. Tell us where to find him so we can have a summer fling with him too.
Riley is the lead in my new novel, Art of Death, published by Dreamspinner Press.
Despite the support of his rich older boyfriend, starving artist Riley Burke is determined not to be a trophy—hence his second job as a nude model at the local art school. It’s important to him that he pay his own way, so when the artist Coliaro requests a private modeling session with him, he jumps at the chance to earn some real cash.
Then he hears the rumors—that Coliaro is undead. That his worshippers perform rituals to fill him with life energy. That every time he paints a male nude, the painting transforms to depict a gruesome murder. And that shortly after, a young man turns up dead.
The source of these rumors is a man named Westwood, who claims to be an instructor at the school and warns Riley not to get involved. Riley ignores the advice—but when the rumors pan out and another murder looms, he turns to Westwood for help. Westwood is clearly keeping secrets. He’s dangerous, and Riley doesn’t know if he can be trusted—which makes him all the more attractive. Riley is in way over his head… and his involvement with the undead may make him the ultimate target.